LSU falls short in 72-67 loss to No. 10 Tennessee

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2014 at 12:56 am •  Published: February 28, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Jeanne Kenney didn't sound like a player on a team stuck in a five-game slide.

She was too impressed by the way LSU climbed out of a 21-point halftime hole against No. 10 Tennessee before finally succumbing to its old Southeastern Conference nemesis.

Kenny scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half, including two 3-pointers and the tying free throws during a late 10-0 run before Tennessee regrouped to pull out a 72-67 victory on Thursday night. The defeat left the Lady Tigers in the midst of the program's longest losing streak in 19 years.

"We came together and that's something I haven't seen in a very long time, and I was very proud of how we did come back," Kenney said. "I couldn't ask for better teammates for this game."

Meighan Simmons led Tennessee with 31 points, including a clutch 3 in the final minute.

"That's her," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said. "She's a gutsy kid ... and she makes big plays for us."

Simmons hit five 3s in all and also made a couple of free throws to help seal the victory for the Lady Vols (23-5, 12-2 SEC), who won for the ninth time in 10 games.

"The coaches just told us to attack and I really wasn't thinking anything. I was just thinking about scoring," Simmons said. "They were big shots, but I think the coaches for just being confident in me."

Cierra Burdick added a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Isabelle Harrison 11 points and 11 rebounds for Tennessee, which had to rescue the victory after allowing LSU (18-10, 7-8) to tie the score with 3:28 to go.

"We had our pride at stake," said LSU forward Theresa Plaisance, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds. "It just took a lot of heart and determination."

Trailing by 42-21 at halftime, LSU managed to make the game far more competitive over the final 20 minutes, and Tennessee helped by turning the ball over 11 times in the half.

Plaisance, who'd started 2 of 10 form the field, hit a pair of 3s early in the second half, the first capping a 7-0 run to start the period.

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